Best and Worst Major Interchange Stations

Thebaz

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24 Nov 2016
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Sud Croixdans
Stratford is well up there amongst the worst, it seems to be different every time I have to go through there and I do that several times a year. I find Clapham Junction incredibly easy to use as an interchange particularly since they added the extra staircases, although that has made the Southern platforms a bit more cramped. East Croydon has its good and bad. Bad if you're at the front of the train arriving from London and have to endure the lengthy ramps up to the concourse. Good anywhere else, although I feel they missed trick closing the subway when the central bridge was built, but I suppose in recompense it has created very open airy platform space. I like the new London bridge too - has a very open and friendly feel, although I take the points about signage for the Underground.
 
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AlbertBeale

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I hadn't realised it was so long ago :D

Yes, you used to go across that taxi road on the flat, whereas now you go over the top on a bridge

And then you would go across Waterloo Road on the lower level bridge, rather than the higher level "tube". That lower bridge (the original running line between the stations?) seems abandoned now

Yes - the old concourse-level passenger interchange route from the Waterloo concourse to Waterloo East used the former railway bridge to cross the main road (having first crossed the internal taxi-etc road on the level), which was indeed the route of the connecting line. When the rail connection existed - I think it wasn't in use for that many years - what's now "W East" was "W Junction". And yes, the old railway bridge across the road hasn't been used for anything apart from what seems random storage since it ceased to be the walking route between the stations.

Picking up on the points above about the lack of bus information on the Waterloo concourse, it has other inadequacies too. The station is certainly a doddle in terms of having all the platforms in front of you in numerical order, accessed from one concourse (even if the refurbished high-number platforms are a surprisingly long hike away from where you assume their barrier line will be - you need to allow an extra couple of minutes' lead time to catch a train at that end of the station), but there are some surprising problems for such a major terminal.

Besides the lack of information for arriving passengers (eg the [non] bus info), departing passengers can have their work cut out too. Arriving onto the concourse from the entrance off the taxi road on the south side (by platform 1) the other day, I realised that there was no signage anywhere I could see which directed passengers to the ticket office or to the information office. Given that the ticket office is well hidden these days behind retail places in the middle of the concourse, and the separate information point [staffed by people who, in my experience, don't want to share much information...] isn't apparent until you're quite close to it, then for users unfamiliar with the station it must be hard.

Surely a key part of all signage on a station concourse of any major station should be a clear indication of where the ticket office is and where the information office is (assuming they're separate of course). After Brighton station was refurbished some years back, it was possible to spend 5 minutes looking around for the ticket office which had been relegated to a far corner. And before anyone says "ask the staff", many a busy concourse has no apparent staff around besides a few on the barrier line, who're often too busy to do more than point in a vague direction.
 

Dr Hoo

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I have ben to the new New Street but not recently of course. Maybe I am unusual but all my business has been in the business district so I have walked down the hill across New Street and entered by the tram stops (when building works allowed). What proportion of station users enter from the shopping centre?

Even if you are correct, that still seems like a shopping-led plan. Surely some way could have been found to ramp/steps/escalater/lift shoppers to the upper floor and leave the A bridge undivided. It just seems so obvious that crossbridges are vital to the station intuitivity and breaking them up will be confusing.
I happened to pass through New Street today. The 'main entrance' from the Bull Ring direction certainly seemed to be the busiest at the time that I was there although I can believe that at different times of the day and week the proportion using any particular entrance will vary.

(The Metro and indeed the whole of Stephenson Street is all dug up at the moment so it's not a 'typical' time even without COVID.)

One of my takes on the whole project is that compared to the 1960s station, which forced the great majority of users to approach by zig-zagging through the Palisades shopping centre, the whole set-up is far more passenger and interchange-led.

The new design basically took away a significant amount of city centre car parking (and associated traffic) and cut huge hole through the middle of the Palisades to allow the new transparent roof and greatly enlarged open concourse. There are far fewer shops within the whole complex than there used to be. There has also been a change of emphasis from shops to eateries as would be expected given changes in retailing over 50 years.

It is actually quite striking how few shops one passes from the moment that you enter the station to the point at which you can reach the first barrier line that will enable you to reach your platform. So, for example, if you come down Lower Temple Street from the business district and enter from Stephenson Place you will pass Greggs on your right and then Boots on your right before reaching the first Red Lounge barrier line. That hardly seems excessive. If you bear left to go the the platforms via the Blue Lounge you've got a Body Shop instead of Boots, so still only two shops.

It's not like battling to Stratford through Westfield!
I like Crewe. OK, as a lazy person, I'd appreciate escallators, but other than that it works well.
Yeah, Crewe's alright. I'm not entirely sure that two bridges and a subway (that doesn't seem to be on the station maps :rolleyes:) is exactly intuitive but it is fairly easy to move around the place.

The best feature of the subway and the (not quite) new un-staffed exit to the east side is that it gives easy access to the relatively new Greggs along the road, which helps to make up for the current dearth of cafes along the Nantwich Road. But you need to be able to cope with two barrier passes, of course.
 
Last edited:

yorksrob

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I happened to pass through New Street today. The 'main entrance' from the Bull Ring direction certainly seemed to be the busiest at the time that I was there although I can believe that at different times of the day and week the proportion using any particular entrance will vary.

(The Metro and indeed the whole of Stephenson Place is all dug up at the moment so it's not a 'typical' time even without COVID.

One of my takes on the whole project is that compared to the 1960s station, which forced the great majority of users to approach by zig-zagging through the Palisades shopping centre, the whole set-up is far more passenger and interchange-led.

The new design basically took away a significant amount of city centre car parking (and associated traffic) and cut huge hole through the middle of the Palisades to allow the new transparent roof and greatly enlarged open concourse. There are far fewer shops within the whole complex than there used to be. There has also been a change of emphasis from shops to eateries as would be expected given changes in retailing over 50 years.

It is actually quite striking how few shops one passes from the moment that you enter the station to the point at which you can reach the first barrier line that will enable you to reach your platform. So, for example, if you come down Lower Temple Street from the business district and enter from Stephenson Place you will pass Greggs on your right and then Boots on your right before reaching the first Red Lounge barrier line. That hardly seems excessive. If you bear left to go the the platforms via the Blue Lounge you've got a Body Shop instead of Boots, so still only two shops.

It's not like battling to Stratford through Westfield!

Yeah, Crewe's alright. I'm not entirely sure that two bridges and a subway (that doesn't seem to be on the station maps :rolleyes:) is exactly intuitive but it is fairly easy to move around the place.

The best feature of the subway and the (not quite) new un-staffed exit to the east side is that it gives easy access to the relatively new Greggs along the road, which helps to make up for the current dearth of cafes along the Nantwich Road. But you need to be able to cope with two barrier passes, of course.

I've not used the subway yet, so will have to see how handy it is !
 

AndrewE

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I've not used the subway yet, so will have to see how handy it is !
It depends on where you want to get to... It is undeniably a step-free but very long way between some platforms - and doesn't serve pfm 12!
If you want the Greggs just south of the exit it could be useful (and if you want the bike path east along the south side of the A534 it is good too.) I don't think you can get back in that way though - or that is what the signs seem to say as you approach the Weston Road exit.
 

trainophile

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I use New Street pretty often as it's my cheapest option to get from Hereford to Liverpool/Southport. I've pretty much sussed out the layout, always walk to the B end escalator on arrival, and despite what @Bletchleyite says about the toilets, there's more of them on that side! My connection is around an hour so I exit the station to pop to the Tesco Express, or occasionally visit the little Tesco on the upper shopping precinct.

My only problem, unlike the general consensus on here, has been tickets rejecting at the barriers. Seems it's always when my journey includes an Avanti train it inevitably rejects, whereas when I'm going onwards by LNWR it always opens the gates in both directions. Funnily enough when I get to Wigan Wallgate with my ticket that includes Avanti it always works there fine, so I don't know what its problem is at New Street.

Other dislike at New Street is the lack of seating on the main "non-paid" central concourse, so that if I collect tickets from the machines I can't find anywhere to put my stuff down to put them away safely. However of the seats that there are on the paid side, it's good that many have a USB charging point.

I do like the look of the station with its high domed glass roof, quite lovely when the sun is shining through it.

Don't really have a favourite. Wigan North Western is quite user-friendly, and there's plenty of room on the platforms, although the waiting rooms are a bit inadequate.
 
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Other dislike at New Street is the lack of seating on the main "non-paid" central concourse, so that if I collect tickets from the machines I can't find anywhere to put my stuff down to put them away safely. However of the seats that there are on the paid side, it's good that many have a USB charging point.
I think they removed a large number of seats from the main atrium area during the Lockdown to not have that many people congregating in sedentary positions in that area.

I'm sure they'll put some back in over time.
 

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